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The Club Disconnect With The Average American


Sometimes, I feel like there is a big disconnect between clubs and the average American.

Think about it — when you walk around outside your club; at the grocery store, the mall, or at the bank, what type of people do you see? Are they all super fit? Are they all overweight? I’d say most of the people you see are probably in the middle range — average.

Do you target the average American? You might think you do, but many of you would be wrong.

For example, I’ve seen many commercials advertising for memberships at different health clubs. What kind of people do those commercials show working out in the club? Typically, they show the very fit ones. And what about inside the club? What kinds of images are plastered on the walls? More often than not, the photos you’ll see are of very fit men and women.

That’s where the disconnect lies — the images that many clubs project target a demographic different from the average American.

I can give you a real-world example of how this can make a member feel. I am what many people in the world would call “average.” I’m not overweight by any means, but I’m not chiseled to perfection either. When I see images of extremely fit women on the walls of a club, it does exactly the opposite of motivating me. Instead, it makes me feel as if I’m not welcome at the club, as if the club is there for those already super fit women, to perfect their bodies even more.

How can you bridge that disconnect? If you, as a health club operator, want to target the average American, then act like it. Start marketing towards the average American!

Show images of average Americans working out in your club. Let them know that you’re more than just a haven for the super fit — you’re a place where any American can better their health. And, if they don’t achieve chiseled perfection, let them know that’s fine. At least they took the step to walk in your doors, and at least try.

In your direct mail pieces, don’t only show success stories of individuals who’ve gone from 200 pounds, to 120. Show images of members who’ve gone from 200, to 180! After all, even a 20-pound loss would be considered a major success to most people.

In your commercials, show people of all shapes and sizes working out in your club. Make it known that your club is a “health club,” not just a “fitness club.”

However, maybe you’re the owner of a club that’s doing it right — maybe you do target the average American, and do so successfully. How did you do that? What can other clubs do to target average Americans? Share in the comments below!

Rachel Zabonick is the Assistant Editor for Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@clubsolutionsmagazine.com. Reach out to her about exciting events or programs your club has implemented, or to share the amazing accomplishments of a member.

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko

Rachel Zabonick-Chonko is the editor-in-chief of Club Solutions Magazine. She can be reached at rachel@peakemedia.com.

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